Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed May 2nd 2007 at 7:00am UTC

Can Arnold be Vice-President?

Most people think Article II of  the Constitution makes it certain Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t figure in the 2008 Presidential race.  As a candidate for President that’s exactly right.  But have a look at the text of the relevant passage of Article II Section 1 of the Constitution which reads:

"No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United
States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be
eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be
eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of
thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United

I don’t see anything here that applies directly to the Vice-President. The language says "office of the President."

If he can clear this hurdle, Schwarzenegger as VP would greatly enhance the Republican ticket.  Just his ability to effect California could make things a whole lot more difficult for the Democrats, especially given the electoral map puts them at a disadvantage to begin with.

I’ve searched and searched and could not find anything that clarifies the issue of citizenship and the Vice-President. Any one out there know what really applies here?

10 Responses to “Can Arnold be Vice-President?”

  1. Peter Fleming Says:

    What if, Schwarzenegger being VP, something happens to the President.

    Can he become president? He definitely can’t run for president at the next presidential elections then

  2. The Daily Drip Says:

    Can Arnold be Vice-President?

    Can Arnold be Vice-President?. Never looked at it that way. (via The Creativity Exchange)…

  3. fred Says:

    If the holder of the office of VP is not eligible to carry out his/her primary duty, which is to replace the President should that be necessary, how can that person be qualified / eligible to be VP?

  4. Michael McGuckin Says:

    When in doubt — read the Constitution, the entire Constitution.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger cannot run for vice president because, as the 12th amendment spells out:

    “But no person constitutionally
    ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

    The reason this appears in the 12th amendment is, as you may know, until then there were no candidates for Vice President: the Presidential candidate who received the second largest number of electoral votes became Vice President.

    But the confusion and intrique that followed the election of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson and Arron Burr each received the same number of votes, prompted Congress to pass and the states to ratify Amendment XII.

  5. Richard Says:

    Michael – Thank you. Ratified 6-15-1804. Rich

  6. Patrick Smith Says:

    Oh, the entire constitution…

    Like the 14th Amendment…

    Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.

    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    It would be a new interpretation, but the Supreme Court could easily site this to allow an Arnold candidacy, no new amendment necessary. Actually, not much you can’t do with Equal Protection…

  7. Michael Charton Says:

    People forget that about the office of Vice President, since it was almost an afterthought.

    I read about you when you were visiting my hometown Tucson and speaking about the “creative class” in Economics.

    There was a news story today about a McCain aide visiting the governors office in Sacramento

    Thank you for putting this up.

  8. Dean S Says:

    In response to Patrick Smith’s post:

    The 14th Amendment does not overide the natural born citizenship requirement. The term “natural born citizen” is very clear in it’s meaning. The Framers of the Constitution clearly intended to limit eligibility to those who were born on U.S. Soil. I do not think that the Supreme Court would see it otherwise.

  9. toothbrush Says:

    the office of vice president is not explicitly written in the constitution.
    it only mentions that

  10. toothbrush Says:

    the office of vice president is not explicitly written in the constitution.
    it only mentions that the President can have cabinets to help him. Heck, s/he can have santa’s helpers be the vice president or even a cat. s/he can run the country if s/he wanted to.

    the 35 year old and 14 house arrest conditions are not enough. do people back then lived that long? if yes, they would be really old by comparison with today’s 65 years to retirement. and 14 years house arrest is kinda short to prove someone’s loyalty to the union. i recommend if you stepped foot outside america, you are no longer americans. you need to lived in america all your life to be eligible to run for president!

    and arnold, sure he can run for the office of president at state, but why let him run for the office of president for all states?